MOHFW: 3-tier classification of hospitals for diverse levels
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To streamline the treatment of Covid-19 patients, the government has classified hospitals into three categories — Covid Care Centres(CCC) to treat very mild, mild and suspect cases; Dedicated Covid Health Centres(DCHC) for clinically moderate level serious patients; and Dedicated Covid Hospitals(DCH) to provide comprehensive care to severe and critical patients.

The health ministry issued detailed guidelines to states as well as district administrations putting in place a mechanism for triaging and identification of appropriate, dedicated facilities for providing care to Covid-19 patients.

"The guidelines are applicable to central, state government as well private hospitals," a senior government official said.

The guidelines provide details of requirements for each category. For instance, a Covid Care Centre can be a makeshift arrangement or a hostel or school premises, whereas a Dedicated Covid Health Centre has to be a hospital or a dedicated block with proper triaging and separate entry and exit to avoid a risk of infection. These facilities, which will monitor Covid-confirmed cases with a moderate level of illness, will also need to have beds with assured oxygen support.

A dedicated Covid Hospital — which will treat only critically ill patients — will also be a full hospital or a block fully equipped with ICU, ventilators and beds with oxygen support. These hospitals will have separate areas for the suspect and confirmed cases. The suspect and confirmed cases should not be allowed to mix under any circumstances, the guidelines say.

According to the official, the dedicated Covid Hospitals would also be referral centres for Covid Health Centres and Covid Care Centres. All these facilities will follow strict infection prevention and control practices, he added.

Official data suggests nearly 70% of cases affected with Covid-19 either exhibit mild or very mild symptoms. Hence, the Covid Care Centres and Health Centres will play a significant role in dealing with a majority of patients.

"The purpose of this document is to put in place such SOPs to ensure optimal utilisation of available resources and thereby providing appropriate care to all Covid-19 patients. This will ensure that available hospital beds capacity is used only for moderate to severe cases of Covid-19," the document said.

Note: This is a brief compilation of major points. Please read the original " Guidance document on appropriate management of suspect/confirmed cases of COVID-19" by MoHFW for detailed information. (pdf attached)

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